Saturday, July 13, 2013


You will never guess what showed up in my email box yesterday.   Well, yes, of course it was an email message! But you will never, ever, guess who it was from or what it said. To tell you the truth, I still can't quite believe it myself, and have had to go back several times to be sure it's actually there -- that I didn't just imagine it. Give up? Okay, I'll show you. This is what I found in my email box yesterday:

Hello Becky,

I am happy to tell you that pages from your journal were chosen to appear in the Gallery section of an upcoming issue of Art Journaling magazine! Your name and location (City, State) will be published with your work, along with a quote from you. Please answer the questions below, and we will choose the quote from one of your answers. You will receive a complimentary issue of the magazine for being published. 

? How/why did you begin art journaling? 
? What do you like best about keeping an art journal? 
? How would you describe your art journaling style?
? Does this particular journal have a theme or story behind it? 
? Please provide your full name, city/state, and any contact info. (website, blog, email) for publication.

If possible, please email me your answers by Monday, July 15th; if you cannot make this deadline, please send them by Wednesday, July 17th

Thank you so much for submitting your journal! Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Amber Demien
Stampington & Co. 

Senior Managing Editor

Know what's really amazing? The art journal I sent them almost three months ago was not any of the ones I have been working on since I started taking all these art classes. Nope, it was one I made before I even knew what art journaling was -- my entire collection of crazy little illustrated seasonal to-do lists

When I handed the box to the postal clerk, he asked me if I wanted to insure it. I thought about it for a moment, then finally said "What's the point? There is no amount of money you could pay me that would make up for losing these." For almost three months now, I've been wondering if they did get lost in the mail , but it looks like they made it to their destination after all. Let me tell you, there is some seriously exuberant happy dancing going on at the Lane house right now!

P.S. No, I have no idea which issue it will be in, or which To-Do list they have chosen to publish.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


In one of the Simple Abundance essays for July, Ban Breathnach talks about one of the our best known food writers, M.F.K. Fisher, author of How to Cook a Wolf. She says, "Although she was well-known...she was never really well-paid and continually had to scratch out a free-lancer's hand-to-mouth lifestyle to help support herself, two daughters, and, at various times, three husbands. I say 'lifestyle', rather than 'existence,' because M.F.K. Fisher knew how to live well despite her bank account. She never reduced herself to mere existing, whatever her circumstances...

she never lacked a simply abundant life. Perhaps she enjoyed the good life because she received it with a grateful heart... M.F.K. Fisher's authentic self found outward expression in exuberance... she recommends weeding out desires, leaving only the holy hungers... concentrating on the good at hand -- a good glass of wine, a good tomato, a good loaf of bread."

"A beautiful sunset, a lively conversation, a loving relationship. She knew that the good life does not depend on extravagant indulgences. The good life does not deprive. It exults."

Taken from Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


If you recall that picture I posted of my overloaded refrigerator a few days ago, you probably won't be all that surprised to learn that much of that food was still sitting there, after all my house guests went on their merry way. Sunday night we made sandwiches from some of the leftovers. Monday we tried out a new restaurant after going to a movie. Last night was Fat Tuesday at Linda Allen's. She's a local caterer who whips up all kinds of Cajun yumminess the second Tuesday of every month, and sells it along with her usual goodies, that one day only. Well, she makes the best gumbo ever, and we missed it last month, so we just HAD to go yesterday, right? So now we're down to the wire. Either I find some way to use all those wonderful leftovers, or they will end up in the trash, which would be a crying shame. So what's a girl to do? Head to the computer, of course.

I tend to spend way too much time pouring through all my cookbooks, looking for just the right recipe to use whatever ingredients are at hand. Luckily, my sister-in-law Priscilla just recently reminded me that there are far easier ways to accomplish the very same thing. Simply go to a website like, type the ingredients you wish to use in their search bar, click "go", et voila! You not only get page after page of recipe ideas, they also come with ratings and reviews, telling you how many "forks" each recipe received, and what percentage of the users said they would definitely make it again, which pretty much eliminates having to guess whether it will be any good or not. I also appreciate the little icons out to the side, which point out which recipes are healthy or time-saving. You find a recipe with four forks, 100%, a little clock and a head of broccoli, and it's a no-brainer. You're gonna love this recipe!

Now, I'm not exactly a cooking novice, so I pretty much knew that if you type in tomato, cucumber, peppers, olives and feta, a whole lotta recipes for Greek salad are gonna pop up, right? But by using epicurious, I was able to see that some of the recipes had a more lemony tart vinaigrette on them, while others had a slightly sweet red wine vinaigrette, which is what we prefer. Also, one recipe with the highest ratings was a composed salad that included artichoke hearts, where the different ingredients were arranged on a large platter, with the dressing drizzled over all. It served a crowd, and would be the perfect thing for a dinner party, while another recipe was just right for two. Yet another was a "chopped" salad, with all the ingredients cut into very small, uniform pieces which are tossed together in a bowl. One plus was that you didn't have to mix the salad dressing separately. You just drizzled the oil and vinegar over the chopped ingredients, then tossed them all together. Another good thing was that it used roma tomatoes, which are more firm and hold their shape better, so it would be the perfect thing to make when my little Juliettes come ripe all at once. Anyhoo, I think I'll be using epicurious a lot more often now, to help me decide how to use my seasonal ingredients.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. One other thing I looked for on that site was how to use that chunk of Spanish Manchego cheese that was left over. Guess what I discovered? One of the best ways to serve it is with a little slice of quince paste atop a wedge of the cheese. Well, who in the world just happens to have quince paste in their refrigerator? I do, that's who!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


When I was about thirteen, my family finally realized that Texas sucks in August, so we started meeting up with a group of friends in Creede, Colorado every summer. We never hauled a camper. Instead we loaded ourselves and all our gear into my dad's station wagon, and made the two-day trip packed in like sardines, with Dad smoking cigars the whole time. No wonder I was always carsick! It was worth every miserable second, though, to escape to those cool days wading in the river, and chilly nights gathered around a campfire. We didn't actually "camp out", but when we first started going there, the log cabins had no indoor plumbing, and we had to cook over a wood burning stove, which is about as rustic as I ever plan to get, thank you very much!

Monday, July 8, 2013


Well, our little family reunion was a whole lotta fun, but it's time to get back to work -- ART work, that is. This is what my art table looked like before I put things on hold to get ready for the Thomas gang.

Guess what? That's what it still looks like today, since I never quite got around to straightening it up. Ah well, that just makes it that much easier to jump back into things.

My calendar is pretty much empty this week, which is just the way I like it! First up on the agenda is getting back to that fun "vintage campers and trailers" project in my Wild Art Summer class, where I am at least a week behind everyone else in the class. Once I get caught up on those projects, perhaps I can get back to my 21 Secrets class, where I still have at least fifteen secrets to go.

So, that's what's on my table this week. What's on yours?

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Niece Merrit and Her New Friend
Well, all in all, I think our little family reunion was a bunch of fun. The last of the gang left right after lunch (at The Salt Lick) today, and my hubby must have been pretty worn out -- he's been asleep ever since! Even the young whippersnappers needed an occasional time out.

Friday there was shopping, lunch at The Leaning Pear, a visit to Cypress Creek Reserve (our local rum distillery), dinner at a brewpub/pizzeria, and plenty of cards, games, and visiting.

Saturday started with a late Ham & Biscuit Brunch followed by more cards and games, then preprandial Mojitos prepared by Austin and Areej (using the local rum), ...

a fabulous dinner prepared by my foodie brother Bill and his wife Dani, ...

and, last but not least, a trip to the Corral Theater to see the new Johnny Depp movie, The Lone Ranger.

It was a very good day.